Atlético scramble for Simão replacement

Osasuna's president contacted the club & said that Juanfran is no longer for sale

Atletico sports director jesus garcia pitarch with managing director miguel angel gil marin

García Pitarch and Gil Marín (

AS reports that following the injury to left-back Nacho Monreal, Osasuna president Patxi Izco called Atlético to inform that Juanfran would not be sold during the winter transfer window.

Rojiblanco officials are now racing to find an alternative option to replace the void left by Simao Sabrosa.

Izco reportedly said that his club could not afford to lose two of its star players at the same time, as the knock sustained by Monreal will keep the defender out for about six weeks.

Though an agreement between Atleti and Juanfran had been reached, negotiations between the two clubs are now on stand-by while the clock continues to tick.

Atleti directors are said to be scrambling to find a replacement for winger Simao, who will be joining his new squad Besiktas shortly.

Club officials are rumoured to be once again setting their eyes on usual suspects Chori Castro and Pablo Piatti, but the signing of either of the two players seems unlikely.

Uruguayan national Castro of Mallorca does not have an EU passport and with the recent signing of Elias, los Colchoneros have used up all of their alotted non-EU spots. Castro’s countryman Diego Godín is not expected to receive his Spanish passport before the summer, so he and Brazilian Diego Costa continue to occupy the other two non-EU spots.

The Argentine-born Piatti looks like a more viable option, as he holds an Italian passport. But it would cost Atleti upwards of €7m to bring the Almería winger to the Vicente Calderón, a price range that appears to be beyond our reach given that our highest offer on the table for Juanfran was €5m.

Schalke’s Ivan Rakitic continues to be a plausible option, but Atlético could face some stiff competition from Juventus, who are also rumoured to have the Croatian in their sights.

UPDATE: El Mundo Deportivo still expects that the deal for Juanfran will take place, but reports that the fee is now somewhere in the €6m range. Osasuna could be using the Monreal injury as a bargaining chip, as they will be looking to get the highest amount possible for their brightest player. Los Rojillos know that Atlético are desperate for a winger, and that our options are extremely limited.

Gil Marín named Best Club Director of 2010
Perhaps we can rest assured about finding an adequate replacement for Simao, as we are under the leadership of Atlético Managing Director Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, who was named ‘Best Club Director for 2010’ by Globe Soccer in Dubai yesterday.

Gil Marín surprisingly beat out Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness and AC Milan Vice President and Managing Director Adriano Galliani, who were the other nominees for the honour.

  • Gert

    Too bad Griezmann is not an option.. Let us hope for Piatti …


  • Edletico

    Blessing in disguise if we get Piatti

  • starvs

    If the difference is between 5m for a stop gap replacement (Juanfran) or 7m for a potential longer term contributor (Piatti), assuming their really is that quality between them, it seems like an easy deal…

  • Andres

    the problem is that Piatti wouldn’t cost us 7m…Almeria already turned down offer of 11m from Dnipropetrovsk…

  • Ringo Schut

    I really hope it turns out to become Piatti, but it will probably be hard…

  • palc

    No way Piatti will go for only 7 million. I don’t think we’ll get a replacement for Simao this january..

  • Ringo Schut

    “upwards” the minimum would be 7m, the chances are very high they’ll have to pay more.

  • Martin Rosenow

    Thanks Ringo.

    @palc Almería bought Piatti for 7m in 2008, so that would be their absolute minimum price, though I agree that the actual cost would be much higher than that.

  • Martin Rosenow

    The post has been updated with new information.

  • javi

    I see eye to eye with Gert.

  • Ian

    I think Piatti will be a better option than Juanfran.
    But, is it impossible to recall Salvio?
    As I recall, he’s not a bad player either..

  • Martin Rosenow

    I don’t think Benfica would want to let go of Salvio right now Ian. He’s been seeing more action lately and has scored and assisted a couple of goals. It’s even being said that Benfica want to buy him at the end of the season as they have an 8 mil. option to purchase his rights.

  • javi

    Atleti can call him back right away, it actually might be too late because I think today is the last day. But even if they want to they cannot because we already have Godin and Elias using the two foreigner spots. I think Salvio is coming back this summer to take up Godin’s foreign slot, because by the Godin’s naturalization will be completed. Benfica has to pay 8M to get him and I dont think they have that kind of money. Plus I really like salvio and we need another forward.

  • Martin Rosenow

    We’d still have overbooking since Miranda is coming as well.

  • Flo

    We don’t need no reinforcement. Fran was great! I wanna see him play there every week. Save the money Pitarch!

  • AmorColchonero

    I beg to differ Flo this team is lacking serious depth on the wings/forward position. Now that Forlan is Aguero going to score all the goals for us now? Did you see Diego Costa tonight – he makes me wish we had Kezman back on our team. Raul Garcia as RM? He has no pace to play that position and doesn’t stay out wide because he tends to venture back into the middle of the field.

    I’m hoping Elias will provide some width and a spark to this team because we lack creativity at times. But, I would hope Atleti get an experienced striker on loan such as Adebayor (wages may be too $$$) or Suazo (Inter).

  • AaX

    Vicente of Valencia